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Power Curtailment and PV Panel Operating Voltage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (36th EU PVSEC), 09–13 September, 2019, Marseille, France
PublisherEU PVSEC
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)3-936338-60-4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEuropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition -
Duration: 9 Sep 201912 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings (EU PVSEC)
ISSN (Electronic)2196-100X


ConferenceEuropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition


PV generator cannot always operate on its maximum power point. This can be due to large DC-to-AC power ratio, overirradiance events or grid-code compliance. The PV generator power is usually limited by increasing the operating voltage, which decreases the current. The PV generator voltage affects the operation of the inverter and lifetimes of some of the DC side components, such as DC link capacitors and IGBTs. We analyzed the effect of different power limits to the operating voltage range of a typical polycrystalline silicon PV panel. Twelve months of irradiance and PV panel temperature measurement data was used to calculate the current–voltage curves of a PV panel and, further, to analyze the operating points with varying static power limits. The smaller the power limit, the longer time the PV system operates in power limiting mode. The maximum operating voltages can be observed on partly cloudy days when an overirradiance event is preceded by a shaded period that is long enough for the PV panel to cool down considerably. Based on our measurement data, in Nordic conditions the actual operating voltage can be higher than the nominal open circuit voltage when the DC-to-AC ratio is higher than 1.5. On clear-sky days, a PV system with oversized PV generator is operating in power-limiting mode throughout the peak production hours, but due to the high operating temperature of the panels, operating voltages stay on moderate levels.

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